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  #1  
Old 11-01-2005, 07:53 AM
David Sklansky David Sklansky is offline
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Default Semi Bragging and a $200 Reward

I am 90% sure that I can make a claim about my extended family that is awfully neat. There are less than 100 adult Sklanskys in the United States. A white page search implies the number is more like 70. I think all of them are no further away than third cousins from me. And nine of them have written books. In fact at least seven of them have written more than one book! (Check out Amazon). Thus ten to fifteen percent of all adult Sklanskys are book authors- David A, David B, Morris, Amy, Milton, Ron, Jeff, Jack, and Gloria.

I contend that there is NO OTHER FAMILY NAME that can boast this percentage of book authors (save those names that are so rare that one or two of them being an author would beat ten percent).

That's pretty cool if true. Maybe even something worth publicizing. And I call it "semi bragging" since I can't take any credit for it. But I have done no research on the topic. So I offer a $200 reward to anyone who can refute it. By which I mean find a name where there are more than 50 members who have a higher percentage of authors on Amazon.com than Sklanskys have.

If you fail, but have obviously spent some time on it and can document your failed results, I'll send you a free book of your choice (up to ten people).

(To make it easy, I'd suggest using white page searches and multiplying by 2.5 unless they also inlude enumerating unlisted numbers. If so multiply by 1.5. Accuracy is probably not vital because I don't think it will be close.)
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  #2  
Old 11-01-2005, 08:22 AM
MegumiAmano MegumiAmano is offline
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Default Re: Semi Bragging and a $200 Reward

The rarity of your name is what gave you the high percentage to begin with. It seems like excluding other even more rare names is like cheating. You should have just left it open, because what are the odds that someone with fewer than 50 family members plays poker, reads here, and has published authors in the family?
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  #3  
Old 11-01-2005, 08:59 AM
David Sklansky David Sklansky is offline
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Default Re: Semi Bragging and a $200 Reward

"The rarity of your name is what gave you the high percentage to begin with. It seems like excluding other even more rare names is like cheating. You should have just left it open, because what are the odds that someone with fewer than 50 family members plays poker, reads here, and has published authors in the family?"

For the most part you are wrong. Of course if there were some name with thirty members that had ten authors, they automatically win. In fact six for thirty could be called more impressive. But not four out of thity or three out of fiteen or two out of ten. Can't you see that?

On the other hand I would grant you that 18 out of two hundred or 70 out of a thousand deserves consideration for more impressive stats. But I don't think you will find anything close to that.

Meanwhile, if I'm wrong, it could very likely be found out by a non family member.
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  #4  
Old 11-01-2005, 11:17 AM
kem kem is offline
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Default Re: Semi Bragging and a $200 Reward

[ QUOTE ]
On the other hand I would grant you that 18 out of two hundred or 70 out of a thousand deserves consideration for more impressive stats. But I don't think you will find anything close to that.

[/ QUOTE ]

So I took a stab at this. My line of thinking was that my best bet was to use Professors' (obscure) last names.

First attempt: Goldwasser
From whitepages.com: 258 listings matching "Goldwasser, United States" (36 non-published listings)
From amazon.com: All 81 results for Goldwasser

Going through the list of 81, I manually (and maybe also erroneously) tried to remove all duplicate authors (does Amazon do this automatically? couldnt find it..) and also editors (although not stipulated to). The result:

Alan Goldwasser
Anita Goldwasser
Charles Goldwasser
Dan L. Goldwasser
Dorothy Goldwasser
Dovid Goldwasser
Edwin L Goldwasser
Henry Goldwasser
Israel Edwin Goldwasser
James Goldwasser
Jane Goldwasser
Janet Goldwasser
Julie Goldwasser
Katherine Goldwasser
M Goldwasser
Marvin Goldwasser
Michael S. Goldwasser
Orly Goldwasser
Samuel Marc Goldwasser
Shafi Goldwasser
Sharon Goldwasser
Temy Goldwasser
Thomas Goldwasser
Vivien Goldwasser

So 24 out of 258.

Doesn't quite beat your stat, but it's up there. If I have more free time, I'll play around with some other names.

Would be a harder (and perhaps more accurate challenge) if you stipulated that the authors must be alive and living in the United States, since presumably that's what the White Pages has listed.
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  #5  
Old 11-01-2005, 05:48 PM
CrazyEvan CrazyEvan is offline
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Default Re: Semi Bragging and a $200 Reward

The white pages found 299 Nordquists in the U.S.
I then searched authors named nordquist on amazon ignored duplicate authors. Found 27. So that's not quite 9% of the 299. ( or 6 % of the 1.5 times the white pages number)

Barbara K Nordquist
Bruce O Nordquist
Carol L Nordquist
Craig E Nordquist
Delmar L Nordquist
Elise Dallimore Nordquist
Eric Nordquist
Gerald L Nordquist
Gerda Nordquist
Gullog Nordquist
John Nordquist
Kay Nordquist
Kjell Nordquist
Lowel E Nordquist
Marko Nordquist
Marty Nordquist
Maxine Winsor Nordquist
Myron H Nordquist
Niklas Nordquist
Olga Nordquist
Phillip A Nordquist
Richard F Nordquist
Sven Nordquist
Shari Nordquist
Ted A Nordquist
Walter S Nordquist
Dr. William D. Nordquist

It should be noted that I don't myself live in the U.S. but I still wanted to try the experiment, and it wouldn't work in canada because there's only... 120 Nordquists in Canada.
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  #6  
Old 11-03-2005, 07:58 AM
zoobird zoobird is offline
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Default Re: Semi Bragging and a $200 Reward

Bad example. Or maybe a good one - it shows how faulty the available data for this is. I'm related to the Anita Goldwasser on the list. She's my Dad's first cousin. Neither of her 40+ year old sons (who both live in the U.S. not at home) are on the list.

Also, interestingly isn't Hank Goldwasser (probably 'Henry' from the list) a popular poker blogger? Not sure if I'm related to him by marriage, but I stumbled on his blog and found it pretty entertaining. Can't remember what its called though.
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  #7  
Old 11-01-2005, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: Semi Bragging and a $200 Reward

[ QUOTE ]
For the most part you are wrong. Of course if there were some name with thirty members that had ten authors, they automatically win. In fact six for thirty could be called more impressive. But not four out of thity or three out of fiteen or two out of ten. Can't you see that?


[/ QUOTE ]
But you're bragging about the high percentage of family members that are published authors. So, is it not the percentage that counts then? Two of ten is still 20%, which beats 11-15%.
This contest if further complicated by how incredibly difficult it is to get quality data. A search on webpages.com for the surname Aksyonv lists four published and 1 unpublished. Since Vassily Aksyonov is, without a doubt, a published author, that means 1/5 for 20%. However, there are a hell of a lot more Aksyonovs in the U.S.
And moreover, this is a country of 300 million people. Are you honestly saying that there could be a family who only makes up .000000033 percent of the population, yet, 20% of that family has contributed to the literary cannon, and that is not impressive?
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  #8  
Old 11-01-2005, 07:07 PM
David Sklansky David Sklansky is offline
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Default Contest Over

It's closer than I thought so even if I'm right its not quite as impressive as I hoped.
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  #9  
Old 11-01-2005, 07:13 PM
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Default Re: Contest Over

So, what's that mean? None of us get a free book for our efforts and contribution? That's analogous to taking it from your cell-mate and not even getting a reach around. I feel so unfulfilled.
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  #10  
Old 11-01-2005, 10:24 PM
kem kem is offline
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Default Re: Contest Over

[ QUOTE ]
It's closer than I thought so even if I'm right its not quite as impressive as I hoped.

[/ QUOTE ]

Sounds like I win??
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